NCAA Golf News

Gators Earn Six SEC Honors; Deacon Named Coach of the Year

Gators Earn Six SEC Honors; Deacon Named Coach of the Year

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Florida men’s golf team received six SEC awards with head coach J.C. Deacon being named the conference coach of the year, the league office announced Thursday. 

The Gators collected honors in Yuxin Lin earning First Team All-SEC and a spot on the Community Service Team. Fred Biondi and Ricky Castillo on the Second Team All-SEC and Matthew Kress a member of the SEC All-Freshman Team. 

Deacon earned the recognition for the first time in his career after winning his first conference title at the SEC Championship this year and the Gators first SEC title in 12 years. Florida won five tournaments this season, marking 20 total under him and nine in the last three seasons. This is the sixth season with multiple wins with Deacon at the helm as the most under him was six in 2016-17.

Lin won his first collegiate event this season at the Southern Highlands Collegiate. With the victory he earned a sponsorship exemption into the PGA’s Shriners Children’s Open this October. The senior leads the team in stroke average (69.7) and tied for top-25 finishes (8). He only had one finish outside the top-25 and wrapped up the regular season with five consecutive top-10 performances. Lin also accumulated 11 hours of community service in the spring working with the Gator Lunch Buddies program and at Shands Hospital.

Earning all-sec every season, Castillo notched his third career second team selection. He adds to his conference career awards of all-freshman team, first team and freshman of the year. This spring the senior has finished top-25 in every event with four top-10s and three top-5s. He secured medalist honors for the third time in his career at the VyStar Credit Union Gators Invitational, winning the event for the second time. The senior is the team leader in under par rounds (17), tournaments under par (8), birdies (124) and top-5 (4) outings. Castillo is a combined -33 in the spring swing and recently had a T8 finish at the SEC Championship.

Biondi has notched two wins this spring with the first in the spring opener at the Sea Best Invitational. The latter came in the regular season finale at the Augusta Haskins Award Invite where he finished 15-under with rounds of 66-70-65. The victory rewarded him an exemption into the 2023 3M Open Championship in July. He is the team-leader in top-10 finishes with six and tied for top-25 finishes with eight. The senior has played in every tournament this season and is tied for team-best 21…


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